tv QA Michio Kaku CSPAN April 9, 2018 11:05am-12:07pm EDT
testifies on tuesday. on can see it live tomorrow c-span3. hisednesday, day two of capitol hill testimony, he will testify on the other side of the capital for the house energy and commerce committee. that will start at 10 a clock a.m. eastern on wednesday. that will also be live on c-span3. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of , the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.
♪ this week on, miccio kaku who discusses his book the future of humanity. brian: here is a pisa video of you on this network in 1979. >> if you look at the recent government reports concerning three-mile island, the government concedes that one out of 10 people will eventually die of cancer in the three-mile island area. that timeyou remember almost 40 years ago and have you changed your thinking?
>> i remember that very vividly. michio: when the three-mile island to happen, ever was that we needed a scientist about the site for this mess to the american people. so he contacted me and i said to myself this why i do for a living. i'm a physicist. i said to myself i will get on national television and national radio because the situation demands it. not because i want to do it but because people had to know, the dangers, the positives, the negatives of energy, one of the big questions of the age. that is how i backed into becoming a media person. brian you say in your book that : there was a teacher in second grade that had a big impact on your. future. michio: she said god so loved the earth that he put the earth just right of the sun, not too far that the oceans will freeze
but just right from the sun. now, i was floored. i was in second grade. this was a scientific principle with this interpretation. -- with religious interpretation. i said that is right. if we were to close, the oceans would boil, if we were to close, the oceans would freeze. we are in the goldilocks zone of the sun. now, of course we have seen 4000 other planets orbiting other stars and almost all of them are too close or too far from the sun. you have point just -- you have either two points of view either god exists and still , loves the earth or we have a crapshoot. brian: what do you think? michio: now that we have been so many planets, 4000 of them, there are billions upon billions of planets. on average, every single star
you see at night has a plan -- planet going around it. every single star on average that it is indisputable that most of them were outside the goldilocks on. you can still believe in god but that is not an argument that clinches the deal. brian: i wanted to ask you about a bunch of obvious things that you write about what is a planet? michio: it is a mud ball that goes around a star. i say that because it does not really have life of its own. it is dark, it doesn't have life of its own. it orbits around the sun gaining energy and within planets are very interesting because they could have life. that is how we got started. even our solar system we think the plans may harbor some form -- the planets may harbor some form of life. maybe microbial life. we look at planets, we look at stars to find where the plants are but would focus on the planet because that is the habitat for life in the universe.
brian: what is a star? michio: a star is a gigantic solar furnace. it is a ball of hydrogen gas that releases energy by converting hydrogen into sunlight. is a hydrogen bomb. it will face the same equations of isaiah. e=mc2. brian: what is a comment? chio: a comet is a dirty ice ball that was around in the solar system. they are only 10 or 20 miles across. they aren't very big. they're basically made out of ice remnants of the original , solar system which we think surrounded the sun now orbit in a disk. brian what is the difference : between a meteor and a meteorite russian mark life that ?
michio: that flash of light that you see was an across the sky is caused by a rock that burns up in the atmosphere and that is called a meteor. either the block itself with a streak of light. however, wanted his the ground, it becomes a mineral. we called a meteorite. if the meteorite is a media -- meteor which has fallen from the sky, what is a galaxy? a galaxy consist of hundreds of stars october from the creation -- left over from the creation of the universe, the big bang. it looks like a gigantic desk of stars, our galaxy for example is the milky way galaxy and the nearest counts each of is the -- the nearest galaxy to us is the andromeda galaxy and we think there are about a hundred billion galaxies in the visible universe. believe it or not that means we can actually count the number of stars in the visible universe. they hundred billion galaxies, a hundred billion stars per galaxy so that is the number of stars in the visible universe.
a hundred billion times a brian: hundred billion. what is an asteroid? michio: that is left over from the creation of the solid -- solar system. we are talking about mars out to jupiter. we think it is a failed planet, a planets between mars and jupiter that never quite condensed or maybe got too close to jupiter and got broken up. brian: so if you had to pick another place to live outside of the earth, where would you go? michio: i would go to another planet. we have looked at all the planets so far. none of them are exactly earthlike, once but was tropical. venus we wants thought was tropical. many had astronauts sunbathing on the beaches of venus. we now know venus is our evil twin. just like the earth, closer to the sun, the temperatures are 900 degrees fahrenheit. if you were to walk on the surface of venus, you would would sink into
molten metal. you don't want to go to venus. mars is the closest. it's a rocky planet first stop --. it is a frozen desert but it is the closest planet we have. one of the moons of jupiter is europe. -- the moons of jupiter are interesting. it has a liquid ocean underneath the ice covered, who would have thought russian mark nasa wants to put a submarine under the eyes to look for life forms under the ice cover. brian we talked about your : second-grade teacher. do you remember when you first got interested in science? michio: i remember that very distinctly. i was eight years old. everyone is talking about the fact that a great scientist had just died. i will never forget they flashed a picture of his death on the newspapers and the caption says something like this. this is the unfinished
manuscript from the greatest scientist. of our time. i was eight years old. i said to myself why couldn't he finish it? what is so hard -- it was a homework assignment. what could be so hard that he could not answer it? why didn't he ask his mother? what could be so hard that he could not finish it? i went to the library and found of his name was albert einstein. that book was the unified field. theory. the theory that would allow us to read the mind of god. i said to myself that is for me. i want to be part of this grand expedition to finish that book. today i could read that book, i could see all of the dead ends that einstein pursued. we actually think we have it, it is called string theory. i am one of the founders of the subject. we think we can complete a book
that einstein set into motion, the theory of everything. there is even an oscar-winning movie called the theory of everything. brian: go back to your childhood, where were you born? what were your parents doing at the time? michio: my grandparents came to this country 100 years ago. they were from japan. my grandfather was part of the cleanup operation in san francisco at the san francisco earthquake. my family has a long history in california but in 1942, because they were japanese-americans there are locked up at a relocation camp for four years behind machine gun and barbed wire. in 1946 they finally got out but they were penniless so they settled in palo alto which is now ground zero for silicon valley but back then it was all apple orchards and out of the fields.
-- and alfalfa fields. that's where i grew up in a farm like environment in what is now called silicon valley. brian: what did your parents do once they got out of the camp? michio: there was nothing for them to do but menial jobs. the money was confiscated, they were brought. desert they were broke. however, there was a certain cachet, my father became a rather successful gardener. he wanted me to take over the business. i tried gardening for a while and then i said no way. i have to find another way to make a living. so when i was in high school i decided i have to do something. i went to my mom and said can i have permission to build and and smash in the garage? -- an atom smasher in the garage? a 2.3 million electron both portal accelerator. i mom stared at me and said sure, why not. and don't forget to take out the garbage.
i took out the garbage and got 22 miles of copper wire and i built the atom smasher in my mom's garage. i blew out every single circuit breaker in the house every time i turned it on. my poor mother must have said to herself, why couldn't i have a son who plays basketball, maybe if i buy him a baseball. and why can't he find a nice japanese girlfriend? what is he up to build is machined in the garage? -- why does he have to build these machines in the garage? but that was a turning point because of the science fair projects i did in high school, or the attention of an atomic scientist. edward teller. edward took me under his wing. he arranged for me to get a scholarship to harvard. exactly what i was doing. i didn't have to is going to him when antimatter was, what an accelerator was, what a bitter try was. he knew immediately. he arranged for me for to get a scholarship so that started my life as a physicist. brian: how did you meet him?
michio: he came to mexico -- our for the national science fair. he was in the habit of recruiting young scientist. he went to the national science fair. i was actually on television with him. this was in 1963 in albuquerque as a national science fair. when i graduated from harvard he interviewed me for a graduate fellowship but at that point he was very clear. he said i am looking for people who want to design hydrogen warheads. your physics will be very valuable designing new and better hydrogen warheads. he offered me a scholarship. he said little more, you name -- he said loss alamo's, livermore you name it, we can , arrange for you to work there. but my interests began to veer off in the direction of when i was a child, wondering what was einstein's unfinished theory. i wanted to work on an explosion bigger than the hydrogen bomb.
i wanted to work on the big bang, the creation of the universe itself. for me, a hydrogen bomb was a footnote. i wanted to work on the creation of the universe. brian: here is edward teller. this video goes back to 1974. [video clip] one of the seismic events that convince me to work on this was the speech. the day after hitler's invaded the low lands, he said it is the beauty of the scientists to get -- it is the duty of the scientists to get did -- to contribute the weapons that are needed for the defense of freedom. brian: do you agree? michio: that is a pointy -- point that he stretched to me directly. he said i recruiting for what the new york times later calls the star wars scholarship.
this propelled the brightest young minds in america from high school and college into los alamos to create the star wars program. now we know he had a checkered history, many of the early designs did not work for the star wars program but that was the vision he had, he always had a very clear mission that science should be used in the interest of national security. those times are different from today, we had a sputnik moment. in when sputnik went up, it was 1957 practically your patriotic duty to use science in the interest of america because the russians will one day order -- orbit hydrogen bombs. the homeland will be endangered. that is why a whole generation of young kids became scientists and engineers and technicians. it was the sputnik moment. brian: when you were growing up, when did you discover you have
the brain to understand this stuff? michio: when i was a kid, i read about otestein and my favorite qu about einstein was a theory can't be explained to a child than theory is probably worthless. meaning that every theory has a picture behind it and children can understand, newton talked about things moving in space, friction, the motion of bodies, einstein taught by meter sticks and rocketship. -- he talked about clocks and meter sticks and rocketship's things that children could not , understand. yes they are trying to find best time to children and i said to myself well, it is a great idea but if they are all based on pictures and you understand those pictures then mathematics is bookkeeping. it is complicated bookkeeping, you have to learn how to do the bookkeeping of course but it is bookkeeping, it is the physical principle, the concept that
makes everything moves. when einstein was 16, when he was 16 he found that principle. when he was 16 years old he asked himself the question, can you outrace a light game? -- a light beam? we would say that is a stupid question. what he talking about, it's been -- it took him 10 years to 16 to 26 and he finally found the answers and he changed world history. he found that you cannot outrace a light beam. that is a children's question. i said i can understand his children's questions. i just have to learn the mathematics. it is the principle that is involved. today we know the speed of light is the ultimate velocity in the universe. einstein figured that out starting at the age of 16. so all great theories have a physical principle behind it. children can visualize it.
brian: as he went through that process, what with the -- what were the milestones where you began to gather the knowledge and you have people that said 80 want to do this you have to go here, who else had an impact on you? michio: a lot of people try to give bid was when i was in high school but i knew that most of the advice was wrong. i tell kids today that you have to have a role model. the wheel has been invented already. why would you have to reinvent the wheel if you have to become a sports figure or a movie star, find somebody you admire, look at their life history, follow the path, i said to myself, i want to become a physicist. a theoretical physicist, i read about einstein's life so i knew what i had to do and at what age of my life. when do i have to get a phd? when do i have to become a professor? when do i have to work on big physical concepts? it was no mystery to me.
so many young kids come up here and have bum advice from their high school advisor. they sent we want them to a somethingol or learn that is better than pumping gas. i said to myself, tell the kids, find a role model. the wheel has been amended -- has been invented already. brian: was telling your role model? michio: no, it was einstein. teller made a big pitch for me to design weapons and for me, at that point in my life i realized that the basic physics of hydrogen warheads is well known, well-established, as you know, china and developing nations that the hydrogen bomb on the first try. -- got the hydrogen bomb practically on the first try. so, it was an engineering problem. i'm a physicist. i wanted to look at the physical concept of new undiscovered things like why the big bang took place, what was the energy source of the big bang, why did it bring to begin with? -- what he did bang to begin with? these are questions of cosmic importance that are far beyond
engineering of simply assembling a hydrogen were had. -- warhead. brian but why were you able to : figure it out and most people are drowning in all this language when they would be back in high school? michio: i think we had a high -- we have a high school system that stresses memorization, drudgery and does not encourage the bright students to come up. for example, in asia they had the expression the now that -- the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. here is the oddball, if you are steve jobs or bill gates, you get hammered down. in america we had the expression -- the squeaky wheel gets the grease. now, i was the squeaky wheel. i want to get the attention of my teachers in high school. that is why i built the end -- the atom smasher. most of my teachers could not help me but i wanted to do it because i said to myself this is something that is doable. i just have to get the basic
equipment. the basic physics i understood. it was not such a big deal for me to build an atom smasher. brian: what did you do with it? michio: i turned it on. the goal was to create antimatter. that was the whole thrust of the science fair project. i photographed antimatter. it comes naturally from a source called sodium 22. i put that in a cloud chamber and put it in a magnetic yield and the good of a tract of anti-electrons bent in the wrong direction. electrons bent this way, antimatter bends the opposite way and a magnetic field. i took beautiful pictures, pictures that our research quality they tell me. i won a grand prize at the national science fair. and so i will never regret doing , a science experiment because they took me from a gardener's kid to getting a scholarship to harvard and then beginning to work on the unified field terry. -- field theory. that is how it started.
brian: what did the rest of the kids think of you? michio: they thought i was nuts. of course. the teachers that i had to work with -- i told them i had to cut transformers still. i had to glue copper wire and they helped me but that in no -- but they did not know what i was doing. they just did that here is this young kid that needs to cut 400 pounds of steel and line 22 miles of copper wire and i did it on the field. -- it was in the high school football field. brian how big was atom smasher? : michio: it was about this big, it consumed six kilowatts of power. the capacitor bank was used because it had to store six kilowatts of power and the give us this tremendous crackling sound when i turned it on. the magnetic field was so powerful that in principle, it would pull the films out of your desk the fillings out of your teeth if you got too close to it. you have to be careful, it was a hammer anything like that. it would literally ran a hammer from across the room and flinging toward you.
that him haven't an mri machines -- that happened with mri machines today because they too have the magnetic field of about 10,000. now today, we have a big one. a big one outside geneva, switzerland. that is huge. that is basically my little machine scaled up to the size of a city. that is the leading scientific instrument in the world today. outside geneva. brian: why did we build it? -- why didn't we build it? michio: we had designed for the supercollider to be dealt -- to be built outside of dallas, texas in the 1990's. then, on the last day of hearing, costs were rising and congress wanted to know if they should keep on budgeting the supercollider and they canceled it. they give us a billion dollars, to dig the hole dollars to fill , a second billion up the whole and that is $2 million to dig a hole and fill it up. that is the wisdom of the united states congress. $2 billion to dig and fill a whole.
now why did he cancel it? in the last day of hearings when , congress is asking physics if we will find god with your machine, if so, i will vote for it. so, that physicist was paralyzed, he was a question -- would we find god russian mark -- would we find god with your machine? they said something like we will find the higgs boson. but you could hear all the jaws hit the floor of the united states congress. $10 billion for another subatomic particle. the vote was taken and the next day it was canceled. since then, physicists have better heads against the wall wondering how we should have answered that question. will we find god with this machine? brian: how would you answer? michio: i would have said, god whatever signs and some as
-- and symbols you ascribed to the supercollider will take us as close as humanly possible to his greatest creation, genesis. this is a genesis machine. it will re-create on a microscopic scale the most glorious event in the history of the universe. its birth. brian: did that turn out to be the same thing that happened in switzerland? michio: that's right, the very same scene -- very same machine is in switzerland. we are hoping it will find dark matter. which is the next form of matter. our machine was canceled because we did not know how to talk the language of the actual -- the average taxpayer. that was a lesson. we have to understand where the taxpayer is. in the old days we would go to congress and say russia. congress would work without their checkbook and say how
much. those days are gone. brian: i want this show some video of you in 1997 saying strong things about nasa. michio: i am here to save the program from nasa bureaucrats. nasa bureaucrats are trying to fabricate new laws of physics that i have never seen before in any of my textbooks. in any of the books that i have published for phd students. if any of these engineers were to send that report to me i would flunk them. brian: why did you feel so strongly? michio: i believe in the space program. but, i think we need to do it faithfully. why would the taxpayers turn against the of the? shuttle wet the became within a hair's breadth of losing the space shuttle. america's were saying enough is enough. perishing because some bureaucrat authorized the launch
of that missile. nasa wanted to launch a conceding mission. which give us gorgeous amounts of information about saturn. pounds of plutonium. this split the scientific community. on one hand, we wanted this term -- orbit saturn and give us great photographs. on the other hand, if that rocket were to blow up, nasa's own computer program estimated that some of the plutonium could go to disney world. think about that. if you are a taxpayer and you realize that this rocket to saturn all of a sudden caused the evacuation of disney world and he had to cancel your orlando,and cross florida off the tourist map you would get really angry. worth to myself it is not it. chances are it will be a success. chances are we'll go to saturn and get glorious photographs. which is what happened. i said to myself, it is a gamble. do we want to take a gamble/
and lose the space program. i love the space program so much that you have to save it from the nasa bureaucrats. you are saying your book did 544 humans have been in space. in 18 of those have died. what do those numbers mean to you? >> it means that 1% of the time you don't come back. to go ask me, what i want into space knowing that 1% of the time i'm not going to come back. these people are test pilots. they are experienced astronauts. they go through the training. they have taken courses. they know the odds. it is 1%. we are 60 years into the space age and we have not got that number down below 1% misfire. mars is even worse. 30%. 30% of our space probes never reach mars.
as elon musk said, he would love to be the first person on mars, but he does not want to be there on impact. i agree with that. we forget. space is not a picnic. time our-- of the rockets blow up. .rian: in 2010 you were here audienceilable to our to go back and listen to it. three hours of you going into some detail on some of the things that we are talking about. information for people who want to find out more. arthur c clarke, this is from 1964, i want you to put him in the context. >> the day after tomorrow. 2000. the year it will be possible not age for a man to conduct his business
from tahiti just as well as he could from london. i am serious when i suggest that one day we may have brain surgeons in edinburgh operating on patients in new zealand. brian: how is he doing on his predictions? michio: he is right on the money. doctors in one place can do , can handle robots on the other side of the planet. we have planets at duke university that communicate with .obots and kyoto different operations that you can do in duke university, you can also do in kyoto. if anything, i think he underestimated the power of the internet here it -- the internet. able toon being communicate. guess what, elon musk unveiled a plan to create a planetary internet.
thousands of many satellites. mount everest, there you are downloading the kardashians. have a towerve to next to mount everest. but if thousands of many satellites orbit the earth, exactly what he said could become a reality. what does a theoretical physicist do when he has 3 -- free time? michio: for einstein it was playing the violent. it was a time for him to think back at his work and to rethink his strategy. he also liked sailing. for me, i am a professor. i realize that i like to teach. i can bore 20 kids teaching a course. if i'm on radio or television, i can board 20 million kids. i say to myself that is an opportunity to touch the minds of young people. whenever interview a nobel
prize-winning scientist, i in -- i ask them when was it that spark of science began to germinate. they always say when i was 10, 10 is that magic year. you have that even if any. you went to the planetarium. you saw your first telescope. rings saw the moon or the of saturn. you saw a microbe in a microscope. that deep if any stays with you -- that even if any -- that epiphone stays with you for the rest of your life. it is like a well. you draw water from that well. you remember. you remember that a path and you had when you were 10 years old. that keeps you going. brian: do you play the violin? michio: no. i like to do figure skating. brian: how long have you done that? michio: for the last 15 years.
when i was a kid i was liked to watch it on tv. to do something like that is complicated. i realized that it is nothing but physics. if you are a physicist you understand center of gravity, moment of inertia, you understand the basics of figure skating. i said to myself, i could learn that. if you see me spinning and junk being -- and jumping you know it is me on the ice. oldn: if i were 19 years and i wanted to see you in a where would i find you? and why would i be in your classroom, and how large with a classroom be today? michio: normally i teach graduate students. at that level, we're talking about a phd program. only about five or 10 students. these people are raring to go. has so many young
people at the freshman you -- freshman level, unwashed, raw students that they said you have to teach freshman. i decided to teach us to run a may. i was shocked. i looked at the astronomy final and it was memorize all the moons of saturn. that was the final exam. i said to myself, i don't even know the moons of saturn. i don't even know the moons of jupiter. this is a ruthless exam. i wanted to know planetary evolution. where stars come from, how they die. i throughout the curriculum and decided to import nasa videotapes about going to the planet. and began to talk about planetary evolution. planets of a certain basic laws. they are born, they mature, they die. you can teach these concepts because you can teach principles
to children, especially pectoral principles. to takewhy i decided this astronomy course and make it modern. the course is bursting at the seams. people have a thirst. it presented well. people will gravitate toward it. when i first did television people said that science does not sell on tv. that can beself right. a million people subscribe to scientific american. another million subscribe to discovery magazine. when there is a science special you can get 5 million people to tune into that. there is an untapped audience there. when cable took off, we found it. there really are five to 10 million people out there that will tune into a science program if, and only if, it is presented well. with special effects. with a potent storytelling. people will gravitate toward it.
we are born scientists. we were born wondering why the sunshine's. brian: how often have you been involved in a television special? worked, andve talking heads. i regularly do talking heads for different science specials. brian: you do right now -- radio, how often? michio: i'm on every week. or facebook. we are up to 3 million fans on facebook. on twitter we are up to 600,000. you can find my radio schedule. it airs at about 60 cities across the united states. it is commercial radio. commercially we are not talking about public radio. we are talking about commercial radio. the program is a big success. if presented, well, people have a thirst, a real thirst to understand what is happening in the world.
it is never presented well. it is also -- always presented as memorization, as learning stupid fact that you will forget the learner -- the next day. brian: here is a video of him talking about life expectancy. i want your input on this. >> you can take all the supplements and pills. that's going to enable you to live 150 years. that is the answer no. that is just to get to the second bridge. that is not far away. 10 to 15 years from now we will add more than one year every year to your life expectancy. he has a plan for himself i think. how my pills to see take a day? michio: i think he takes several hundred. he talks about two kinds of immortality. digital immortality. silicon valley is already offering a version of that.
and then there is biological immortality. digital immortality takes everything you know -- yourthing known about you, digital footprint, credit card records, movies you have seen, what winds you like to drink, and pictures, your video, creates a profile which will last forever. when you go to the library of the future you will not pick out a book about winston churchill, you will talk to winston churchill. hologram who to a will have all the mannerisms, knowledge, anecdotes, everything known about winston churchill. you will talk to him. i would not mind talking to einstein. i would love to have an opportunity to talk to an einstein based on everything that is known about the man. we could be digitized. there is a company offering to do this. our great great great great great great granddaughter who
wants to find out who was there great great great great great grandfather because we have all been digitized. to paraphrase bill clinton, is this really you? it all depends on how you define you. if we define you as a biological entity then this is a tape recorder. but if you are the subtotal of all your memories, emotions, feelings, if that is you, then yes, in some sense you could live forever because you have been digitized. brian: i want your definition for artificial intelligence. michio: it is a machine that can do anything that a human can do. now, if you compare artificial intelligence to most advanced robot has the abilities of a cockroach . a retarded, lobotomized, slow cockroach. our robots can barely walk across the room.
they can barely sweep the floor or turn a valve. i've foresee a time when they will be as smart as a mouse, being able to run around. as smart as a rat, a rabbit. eventually as smart as a cat or a dog. by the time they reach the level of a monkey, they could become dangerous. that is at the end of the century. monkeys have a self-awareness, they know they are not human. they know they are monkeys. dogs are confused. dogs think that we are the top dog and they are the underdog and that we are part of the same dog tribe. dogs are confused about who they are. monkeys know they are not human. once robots became as smart as monkeys, then we should put a chip in their brain to shut them off if they have murderous thoughts. that is not for many decades to come. brian: did you have brothers and
sisters? michio: yes. one older brother and one younger brother. brian: what did they end up doing? michio: my younger brother is a cardiologist. he is still in private practice. and wewent to college all did what our parents dreamed of. they wanted us to be successful. brian: what does your mother do? michio: they passed away. my father was a gardener, my mother was a made --a maid. we were always strapped for money. we were flat broke during that time. i still remember my mother talking about college. college is the key to everything. i had this vision that this college -- that college was this city in the sky. there is a city in the sky called college, gazette and how my mother put it.
she wasealized that onto something. college is a gateway. a gateway to success in modern society. brian: how much of your education was paid for in scholarships? michio: i got accepted to harvard. and a scholarship that edward teller founded. i was a beneficiary. for my phd program, there was money from the national science foundation. even though struggling artist's habits -- have a hard time scraping together the next meal, in science there is funding. the national science foundation, the department of energy, we will fund enterprising young phd students. that is a good thing. there is a brain drain into the united states because there is funding. private and entrepreneurs, silicon valley, they will --
speculative and cutting-edge research. there is a brain drain into the united states at the present time. brian: back to your 10 year old example of -- by the way, do you have children? michio: yes. two. the older daughter is a brain doctor. she is a neurologist. she is a professor now. differentfollowed a road. she is a french pastry cook. she went to an exclusive school french pastryin cooks. she has done very well in manhattan. brian: your mother said she wanted you to find a nice japanese woman, is that you have found? wife ismy second japanese. my mother finally got her dream. my mother eventually came down with alzheimer's.
it is very unfortunate that she could not even recognize me towards the very end. she cannot even recognize herself. sohought that life is unfair. you struggle so hard when you are young and you are always poor, always wondering where the next check is going to come from. and then you lose your memories. you lose your sense of who you are, who your children are. sometimes life can be very unfair. you are 71? about,e you thinking what are you going to teach, what happens to the brain? michio: i realize that the body does decay. the brain decays much slower. whistlebe as sharp as a even in your old age. einstein was publishing important papers even to the last days of his life. when you get older, you say to -- but are worthless.
nothing but that dotting the i's and crossing the t's. i would rather work on big problems now. there is a danger that nothing is going to come out of these big problems, but i would rather work on a big problem and fail than a lot of little problems and succeed. brian: from a standpoint of financial competence, what categories have been the most lucrative for you? teaching, documentaries, radios, programs, speaking, books? when i first started to write books people told me that you are never going to get rich writing a book. it is cutthroat competition. as bill clinton knows, you can make more money doing speaking at events and keynoting conferences and stuff like that. that is something that i enjoy. .ou get to engage people
and talk about things that are on their mind. things that are troubling them. i get invited to keynote conferences. brian: is that the best economically? michio: probably. if you take a look at bill andton and george w. bush people, they are on the circuit. i bump into them regularly. i have been on several programs speaking with bill clinton. brian: how often do teacher class? -- do you teach your class? michio: they said that whenever i have to go out, i just -- i disrupted the university. i have to find a substitute teacher. i have to make sure that the grad students can grade their papers. they made a deal with me. they said if we cut your slack so that you have more time for a goodg, you can spend name at the university. the university benefits.
you benefit. it was a win-win situation. they reduce my teaching load. which was the ideal situation. brian: how big is your university? michio: one of the biggest on planet earth. the city university of new york has a quarter of a million students. it is huge. the state university of new york services the entire state. the city university of new york peoples the 8 million altogether. that is a population of new york. -- this city university of new york is gigantic. it is absolutely humongous. brian: you have read a lot about this in your book, you talk a lot about going to mars, here is a motion picture. star trek, 1979. i want to show it and have you put the movies in context with
learning science. >> accelerating to warp one. >> .7. .8. brian: have you seen all these movies? michio: i love them. i am a science fiction junkie. thati was a kid i loved kind of stuff. today, i do a lot of cringing because i realized they got that law of physics wrong or they got that wrong. a lot of times i have to suspend what i know about physics and just let my imagination roam. that is the way to enjoy these films. i love these films. brian: 1951. the day the earth stood still. it is no concern of ours how
you run your own planet. if you threaten to extend your violence, this earth of yours will be reduced to a burned up sender. .- burned up cinder your choice is simple. peace, ord live in pursue your present course and face obliteration. brian: did you see this movie? michio: yes. that movie was very important because of to them the paradigm was war of the worlds. we are the underdog, we are the good guys. that flipped it totally the other way. theof a sudden, we became enemy. we were the enemy of ourselves. we are our worst enemy. that movie was incredibly important because it shifted the focus away from martians invading the earth to looking our ownto looking at problems.
if we explore our space, if we mess up the earth, we don't want to mess up mars. our own actst together. i thought that picture was pivotal because it shifted the center of gravity of science fiction. brian: this is book number nine for you? michio: 14 i think. is called thee future of humanity. what was your goal in this book versus the others? michio: i talk about the future like 100, 200, 300 years in the future. what is the pot of gold out there? what is the ultimate destiny of all these things? i said to myself, as carl sagan once told me, we should become a two planet species. we should join other civilizations and some kind of galactic civilization, if it exists. pointed out to make him of the dinosaurs did not have a space program.
and the destiny of the dinosaurs was to go extinct. that was their destiny. ir dennis -- our destiny is have written. 99% of all life forms, their destiny is extinction. the norm for mother nature is extension, if you don't dig right under our feet right now, the bones of the 99.9% that no longer walk the surface of the earth. we are different. we have self-awareness. we can see the future, we plot, we scheme, we plan. perhaps we are going to evade this conundrum and maybe survive. the other books talk about the steps. but what is the goal? what is a pot of gold? one pot of gold would be to have an insurance policy. a plan b in case a super volcano, an asteroid wiped out dents ourr severely
history. brian: this is 20 years from now, you will be 91, you will still be teaching and speaking. you look back at what we have done in these 20 years, what will it be? who will have been responsible for it? is, we my goal in life physicists like to rank civilizations by energy. type one is planetary, they control the weather. type two is stellar, the control stars and play with stars. like star trek. three,ere is type galactic, they play with black holes. like star wars. what are we? we are type zero. we get energy from dead plants. in a hundred years we will be type one. it is not guaranteed because we still have all the savagery of our rise from the swamp just a
few hundred years ago. we have the same sectarianism, nationalism, all the backwardness of our rise from the swamp. i see that by 2100 we will become a planetary civilization. i want to help speed up the process to make sure that we don't let the savagery of our lives and swamp overwhelm our destiny, which is to become type one. what language will this type one civilization speak? on the internet, english and mandarin are the two dominant languages. the internet itself is the first type one technology that fell into our lap as we are still type zero. we see the beginning of a type one planetary civilization. we may not make it. elon musk said why don't the aliens visit us? they should be a lot of type one civilizations out there. they don't visit us because they perhaps did not make the
transition to that one. brian: do you have any idea why, over the years, we refer to aliens as little green men that are going to land here sunday? why are they little green men? michio: i think it is part of our subconscious. hollywood gives us these images as children and as grown-ups we access these ancient memories of bug eyed monsters. i have some advice for people that claim to have met these aliens. many people email me and say they have been abducted from aliens, they know they are out there. my attitude is the next time you are objective by an alien, steal something. if it is an alien paperweight, a chip, a pen, steal something because there is no law against stealing from a next her terrestrial. there is no law that says you can't steal from and asked her extratrial -- an
terrestrial. if you ask for hard evidence, there is no hard evidence either way. there is a possibility that in the past we would have been visited, it can't be ruled out. brian: last video, you were alive, you were young, this is 1957. somebody named major john glenn. >> what do you think of the russian satellite which is circling the earth? >> to say the least they are out of this world. quite aneally advancement for the russians and for international science. that. agree on it is the first time anybody has ever been able to get anything out of that far in space and keep it there for any length of time. this is the first step toward space travel or moon travel. something we will probably run into. >> would you like to take a trip
to the moon? brian: major john glenn was a test pilot. he had not gone to space. in your opinion, how had we done since then? michio: i think nasa became the agency to nowhere. it just spun wheels, went around planet earth. the space station was supposed to be the gateway for mars and the planets. that became a big turkey in outer space. i think we have been basically spinning wheels for 50 years. last month, there was this excitement when the falcon heavy rocket blasted off because that was a moon rocket. the first moon rocket in 50 years to blast off from cape canaveral. guess who paid for it, our taxpayers? no. a private individual, elon musk. paid for a moon rocket and gave it to the american people for free. this is not heard of. five years ago if you were to
say that a private individual would create his own personal moon rocket and give it to the people of the world, people would think you were nuts. but it actually happened. we are in a new ballgame now. a new ballgame where prices have been dropping genetically, the movie the martian cost 100 million. to go to mars only cost $70 million. hollywood movies about mars cost more than going to mars. that is how cheap space travel has become. china is going to plant of their flag on the moon. it is a national goal for the chinese people. things have changed. prices have dropped. private entrepreneurs are funding a lot of this stuff. china, india, everyone is jumping into the game. we will have a traffic jam around the moon. brian: what would you tell an eight-year-old today watching you right now?
what should they do to prepare to become a theoretical physicist or scientist? that flame alive. keep that inspiration, that spark, whatever it was that set you off in the direction. for me, it was trying to follow the works of einstein. to complete einstein's dream. whatever it is, follow that star. that will keep you going. there has to be a northstar that inspires you because there is a lot of math you have to know, you have to pay your dues, ultimately, it is that spark of creativity and innovation that keeps you going in spite of all the obstacles. the title of the book is the future of humanity. thank you very much for joining us. michio: my pleasure. ♪
announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments visit us at q&a.org. q and a programs are also available at c-span podcasts. announcer: back here in washington this week after the two-week easter passover break. the u.s. senate returns at 3:00 p.m. eastern. to start debate of the district court judge in kentucky. a new senator, cindy smith of mississippi will be sworn in. due toreplacing cochran
health issues. you can see it live when the gavilan on the network for c-span2. we will have live coverage of the house when they are back for legislative business tomorrow. members are expected to debate a number of bills that would make changes to the. frank federal financial law. and work on a constitutional amendment that would require congress to balance the federal budget. a vote is scheduled for thursday. a two thirds vote is required. see the house life here on c-span. zuckerberg will testify before the senate and house committees on facebook's handling of user information and data privacy. p.m. y at 2:15 on wednesday, at 10:00 a.m. he will appear before the house energy and congress committee. watch live coverage at c-span.org.
listen online with the radio app. coming up in about half an hour, former joint chiefs of staff on u.s. relations with north korea. that will be live at about 12:30 eastern. until then, some of this morning's washington journal. each week and this segment we take a look at how your money is at work in a different girl program. this week, president trump helped pick our topic with a series of recent tweets about amazon and its impact on the u.s. postal service. joining us at our desk is kevin who has worked on postal reform in his role at vice president of public policy at the institute. here is one of the president's recent treats from april 3. i am right about amazon